PHOENIX — Arizona native William Hyder, a long-time Valley lawyer, husband, and father, passed away from COVID-19 in August. He was 77 years old.
His daughter Stacy Hyder said they don't know how her father got COVID, but soon after Father's Day, William Hyder was hospitalized. He spent 28 days on a ventilator.
"He was in the hospital for 41 days, and I can tell you almost about every single day because it carried its own special gift of hell," said Stacy. "All I think about every day is if somebody else in my family gets this and how terrified I am of having to go through this again. It traumatizes you. You're never the same after."
With the help of nurses, Stacy was able to Facetime her dad daily, but she was never again able to have a conversation with him. In the end, his wife and two kids were able to hold his hand while he passed away.
"It has destroyed our lives, destroyed them. It's not like a regular death. Every day I wake up and COVID is in my face, I can't get away from it. And every day I relive those Facetimes," said Stacy.
Hyder started off as a prosecutor for the Maricopa County Attorney's Office and later went into private practice. Stacy, also a lawyer, said her dad was a successful attorney, but it was his character that made him stand out.
"He was the kind of person that stuck up for the underdog. He was the one that always stuck up and did the right thing too. He had a tremendous amount of integrity and kindness that I think people don't always equate with lawyers," she said. "You walked into a room and you knew you were in the presence of someone special and someone unique."
Stacy said her dad was humble, kind, and supportive.
"When I think of him, I think of just the strength and commitment and love that he showed," she said.